Making Memories… Giving Hope

Giving young carers the chance to be children

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Today is Young Carers Awareness Day in the UK, a day to recognise the 700,000 young people in the UK who support and care for family members.

New research published by the Carers Trust reveals that 80% of young carers miss out on childhood experiences. With their time spent carrying out household chores, offering emotional or physical support, caring for younger siblings and many other tasks, young carers often miss out on the chance to play, have free time and enjoy being a child.

CHICKS supports hundreds of young carers every year, giving them the opportunity to make positive childhood memories. Children like Pippa.*

14-year-old Pippa is a young carer for her mother and younger siblings. In 2014, Pippa’s mother suffered a stroke, which left her with executive function disorder. This means that she finds it incredibly difficult to perform even the most routine activities. Being the second eldest of five children, Pippa has to carry out domestic chores such as cooking for her siblings and cleaning the house, as well as providing care for her mother.

Pippa’s mother regularly tells her that she feels like a burden, and there are concerns that she is suicidal. Pippa was referred to CHICKS by her young carers group, who could see that she was in desperate need of a break from her exhausting role at home.

Pippa appeared to be a little apprehensive when she first arrived at CHICKS. However, she soon came out of her shell and began to relax. Pippa made some strong friendships during the week, and her confidence visibly increased as a result of this. She fully participated in all of the activities on the break, particularly enjoying horse riding and the visit to a local amusement park. At the end of the week, she told Respite Break Leader Sarah that she had loved “the chance to just be a kid again!”

In 2015, 44% of the children referred to CHICKS had caring responsibilities, which equates to 493 children. A week away from home gives them the chance to have fun and enjoy new experiences, without any of the worries and everyday tasks they usually face.

This year, we're planning to give hundreds more children like Pippa the chance to be children again! There's loads of ways you can help make this possible. Find out more about how you can get involved with CHICKS here!

*Name changed to protect identity 

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